Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Avengers Academy #19

Ah, the curse of the crossover. Christos Gage did a good job giving us one of those hidden chapter type stories, with two of the “Worthy” hammer-wielders taking on the students of the Avengers Academy. The problem is, Absorbing Man and Titania are needed elsewhere at the close of this story, so there can’t really be any sort of true conclusion.

That doesn’t mean this wasn’t an entertaining issue. I love seeing the students step up to the plate as real heroes. When the chips are down, Finesse decides to sacrifice herself to save the team. Hazmat and Mettle sort of get roped into their sacrifice, but they have the fortitude to do what’s needed, too. (I loved Reptil trying to volunteer, only to be rebuffed by his own team as “not powerful enough.”)

The conclusion works nicely, setting up the need for a new HQ next month, but even better, look what happens when the “real” Avengers show up! These kids were all ready to nobly sacrifice themselves, but the minute Hank Pym, Quicksilver, Tigra, and Jocasta get back, everything wraps up with a lot less drama. (Quicksilver’s dismissive attitude towards Finesse’s efforts is by far the best part of the book.)

So while this doesn’t work so great as a tie-in to Fear Itself, it is a solid character examination for the student stars of the title. Take note, Pet Avengers fans, Neils the cat gets a mention too!

Tom Raney keeps the book well within its comfort zone of clear storytelling and dynamic character design. Raney and Sean Chen are doing a great job alternating for each other.


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